22Budget: How Much Should I Spend on Customer Success?

The job of the CEO is to maximize the upside while protecting the downside. Depending on the phase of our business, the mix between greed for the upside and fear of the downside can ebb and flow.

The good news is that Customer Success is becoming an important part of the strategy in all seasons of business, good or bad. That said, because Customer Success is one of the newest disciplines in business, we've seen companies consistently make mistakes in planning that come back to bite them. As Albert Einstein famously (but apocryphally) said, “Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.” This chapter is all about avoiding the same old errors next year. In the following, we list 13 budgeting mistakes to avoid.

Fail #1: Underfund Customer Success

Have you ever shown up for a family dinner late, only to see your relatives smiling and full, their plates clean, and only scraps left for you? Sometimes that's what it can feel like when trying to secure your budget as a Customer Success leader. While prominent thought leaders like McKinsey, Bain, BCG, Accenture, Deloitte, PwC, Gartner, Forrester, and Geoffrey Moore have all talked about the ROI of Customer Success, and while we at Gainsight have shared massive improvements in revenue growth from investing in Customer Success (as discussed earlier in this book), many companies are still underinvesting in the area.

The former investment bank ...

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